56
votes
1answer
16k views

How long can I store a food in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer?

How do I know if a given food or ingredient I have is still good, or if I should discard it? How can I best preserve a food or ingredient? This broad question is intended as a "general reference" ...
26
votes
2answers
145k views

How do I know if food left at room temperature is still safe to eat?

If I left food out of the refrigerator for some period of time, is it still safe? If I left it out too long, can I salvage it by cooking it more?
95
votes
6answers
20k views

Translating cooking terms between US / UK / AU / CA / NZ

This post is an attempt to keep track of the terms that differ between dialects of English or exist in some dialects but not others: British / Australian / Canadian / American / etc. Please note that ...
15
votes
4answers
160k views

How long can cooked food be safely stored at room/warm temperature?

If I leave fully-cooked food (particularly meat) out at warm temperature - say on the counter or in a crock pot that's been turned off - how long will it stay safe to eat? Does it make any ...
36
votes
4answers
80k views

Why is it dangerous to eat meat which has been left out and then cooked?

If cooking meat kills bacteria, and bacteria are responsible for problems with eating meat which has been left out, then why is it dangerous to eat meat which has been left out at room temperature and ...
53
votes
10answers
27k views

What's the best way to season a cast iron skillet?

I just purchased a new cast iron skillet. What's the best way to season it? And if I need to re-season an old pan, is the process any different?
16
votes
7answers
67k views

Is it safe to cook a steak that was left out (raw) for 7 hours?

I left a round steak out for 7 hours in a container of cold water. It was wrapped very well, hadn't been opened yet. Is it ok to cook this? I planned on cooking it in the crockpot for 8 hours.
20
votes
8answers
4k views

How does one find recipes given an ingredient rather than the recipe name?

How does one find recipes given an ingredient rather than the recipe name?
80
votes
25answers
18k views

How do you properly cook a steak?

I love steaks so much, that I would like to get a green card and live in the States just to enjoy good steaks whenever I want. When I try to cook a steak at home (I live in Italy), it always turns ...
38
votes
8answers
67k views

Cooking away alcohol

When you cook with wine or spirits, when does the alcohol cook away? Obviously high temperatures will do it, but how low of temperatures will work? Also, does it vary by the type of alcohol?
46
votes
10answers
267k views

How dangerous is it to refreeze meat that has been thawed?

I've often been told by people that I shouldn't refreeze meat (particularly hamburger meat) once it has been thawed. However, this seems a little silly to me. I can't imagine how meat that hasn't ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

What oil or fat to use for different purposes?

I understand that one of the main reasons to use different kinds of fat or oil is the temperature at which it burns, e.g. an extra-virgin olive oil to fry a steak wouldn't work. Taste is also a very ...
37
votes
10answers
77k views

How do you make a cake lift equally and minimize doming?

Some time ago, I baked a cake (Sachertorte to be exact). The taste and texture was fine, so my recipe is okay. My biggest issue was the shape. In the middle it was really a lot higher than on the ...
76
votes
10answers
7k views

What knives are “required” for a serious home kitchen?

I consider myself a serious home cook. What knives are essential?
58
votes
25answers
160k views

How can I keep pasta from sticking to itself?

Whenever I boil pasta (specifically spaghetti), it always sticks to itself before I'm ready to use it. What can I do to avoid this without it becoming mushy (which happens if I keep it in the water)? ...
42
votes
6answers
10k views

How do you clean a cast iron skillet?

I have a seasoned cast iron skillet, and I don't want to mess up the seasoning when I'm cleaning it. What do I use and what don't I use to get it back to clean? I've heard not to use soap and to ...
34
votes
8answers
141k views

Is there a problem with defrosting meat on the counter?

I generally defrost meat on the kitchen counter. A friend of mine suggested that this was dangerous and suggested that I defrost meat in the refrigerator. I am no biologist but it seems to me that as ...
5
votes
1answer
718 views

What makes a moist steak (or roast)?

When cooking steak on my grill it seems that even at a steady temp of 350 Degrees F and for 20 minutes the steak seems to change in the way of texture. I get my meat from the same Hanaford and I ...
14
votes
21answers
2k views

What are some good recipe resources? [closed]

When closing questions that ask for recipes, I try to add a comment explaining why, and I would like to point to a resource for recipes. Is there any advice we can give to these people? I usually use ...
34
votes
17answers
3k views

How to Store Fresh Herbs

What is the best way to store fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro? I find I have about the same luck with them whether they are left in a plastic bag or I put them in a cup of water.
14
votes
3answers
18k views

How not to mess up Béchamel sauce

When I make Béchamel sauce I keep getting different results. Sometimes the sauce ends too liquidy and never seems to firm up. Other times it might get all lumpy, despite me using a recipe that has ...
53
votes
9answers
8k views

How can I get chewy chocolate chip cookies?

My chocolate chips cookies are always too crisp. How can I get chewy cookies, like those of Starbucks? Thank you to everyone who has answered. So far the tip that had the biggest impact was to ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

What do I need to know about temperature and food safety?

What general rules do I need to follow to keep my food safe? How do I know what temperature to cook something to, or whether my food is safe at room temperature?
13
votes
6answers
103k views

What is a substitute for red or white wine in a recipe?

If someone cannot or will not use wine for cooking, what would be a good substitute? Question applies to both red and white wine.
15
votes
7answers
11k views

Botulism, Garlic, Cold pressed Olive oil and mason jars

I make a product I invented called Maybe It's Marinade. Cold pressed extra virgin olive olive, pressed garlic as the base in three varieties, AoliOliO, Dill and Cayenne Pepper, garlic powder, and ...
65
votes
85answers
4k views

What cookbooks do you always come back to? [closed]

Like me, there are probably a lot people on here that have a lot of cookbooks, but I find I keep coming back to the same 1 or 2 books to give me the basis of most of the stuff I cook. For me, I find ...
82
votes
11answers
40k views

Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature?

Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature? If so, how long is it safe to keep it out?
103
votes
9answers
48k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta?

What is the effect of adding salt to the water when cooking pasta?
41
votes
9answers
2k views

How should I care for my knives?

I've finally put down the money to buy a quality knife and it's sharpness is amazing! How do I take care of it so that the edge lasts and the knife stays sharp?
29
votes
6answers
4k views

What should I look for in a good, multi-purpose chef's knife?

If I want to buy a good multi-purpose chef's knife, which characteristics should I look for?
24
votes
4answers
31k views

When is a cooking oil not appropriate to substitute for another?

Frequently recipes call for a particular kind of oil for making use of certain characteristics (taste, heat tolerance, health, etc.). It's well known you can substitute cooking oils in most cases ...
6
votes
6answers
4k views

Are there any vegetarian-friendly egg substitutes that can be used in cakes?

I spent about 2 1/2 years as a lacto-ovo vegetarian but, I gave up eggs in October. The problem is that I really like cake. Unfortunately, the cake recipes that I've found that don't use eggs produce ...
33
votes
5answers
13k views

Why does my food turn out poorly using an All-Clad Stainless-Steel Fry Pan?

I have an All-Clad frying pan, the precise one shown below: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005AL5F I made this purchase out of curiosity after reading about the benefits of this professional ...
52
votes
9answers
2k views

How should I poach an egg?

What's the best method to poach an egg without it turning into an eggy soupy mess?
27
votes
11answers
27k views

How do you cook a steak like those found in fine steakhouses?

I went to a 5* restaurant once, the steak was unbelievable. You could cut it with a butter knife, it was fat and juicy, pink in the middle, great stuff. When I cook it at home, I seem to just slice ...
36
votes
11answers
67k views

How long can I keep eggs in the refrigerator?

To keep eggs useful and healthy, what is the average time I can keep them in refrigerator? Can I freeze, and re-use them after melting, or will they be useless or not healthy to eat?
30
votes
11answers
36k views

Is there a magic ingredient that keeps ice-cream soft?

I have bought a electric ice-cream churner, I have tried so many different flavours, different recipes, used alcohols. Have read previous questions and a don't believe that leaving ice-cream out to ...
41
votes
17answers
24k views

How can you reduce the heat of a chili pepper?

There are many chilis that have amazing flavors but are so hot that it is hard for most of us to appreciate them. Beyond the standard suggestion to discard the seeds and cut away the ribs, are there ...
12
votes
18answers
5k views

Need suggestions for ABSOLUTE beginner's cookbook [closed]

I have a friend who is 24 and can barely make mac and cheese from a box. She lives with her grandparents due to some tough financial situations, so she survives, but she is always very impressed with ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the basics and options of brining meat, for example chicken?

What are the basics and options of brining meat, for example chicken? I ate at a restaurant in Santa Fe that specialized in brining and the chicken was amazing. Id like to know what the process is ...
26
votes
8answers
16k views

Is it safe to eat raw eggs?

I have a friend that is training for a marathon and he drinks 6 raw eggs before running (Yes, like Rocky) - is this safe?
20
votes
6answers
11k views

Cure for burns from hot peppers / capsicum oil?

So, I foolishly ignored advice about wearing gloves while handling hot peppers. I thought since they were "just" anaheim peppers I'd be fine... I was wrong, and I repent. Does anyone know of a way ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Why should I use olive oil?

So many recipes list olive oil in the ingredients, as the oil to fry things in. What are the benefits or reasons that I should use olive oil over regular generic "cooking oil" and should I always use ...
17
votes
6answers
31k views

Can extra virgin olive oil be used for stir frying, roasting, grilling?

I'd like to use extra virgin olive oil for the above mentioned cooking methods as opposed to other oils/butter. Are there any downsides to it, or can it be used safely in all those cooking methods? Is ...
9
votes
5answers
11k views

How do you know when a cultured item is no longer safe to consume?

How do you know when yougurt (for example) is no longer safe to consume? Do I know it from the taste, how it smells, or something else?
9
votes
3answers
10k views

What does an overnight chill do to cookie dough, that a 4 hour chill doesn't?

I have a high-fat cookie dough (see What ingredient changes will make this cookie dough more workable?) which wants to be chilled in the refrigerator overnight before shaping. I tried to cheat by ...
185
votes
43answers
24k views

How can I chop onions without crying?

Onions are an excellent addition to many dishes, but cutting them can be frustrating when they make you "cry" all the time. Does anyone know any tips or tricks to help minimise the tears when ...
65
votes
10answers
41k views

Is it safe to put hot food in the fridge?

I heard that putting really warm food in the fridge right after cooking it is not the right thing to do. It might cause bacterial growth? Is this true?
19
votes
5answers
6k views

Flavour combinations - structural analysis

Without neccesarily going into molecular cooking (although we could): does any literature / website / theory provide information on flavor / flavour combinations that go well together? (ignoring ...
14
votes
13answers
5k views

Better Scrambled Eggs

I used to add milk to eggs when whipping them, but someone told me that water was better since it evaporated and made the eggs fluffier. I've tried it, and I'm not sure which one works better. Any ...

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